Doha: Soad-3 International Finale - Goan Wonders Queenie, Akash Crowned
Pics: Dayanand Kukkaje
Daijiworld Media Network - Doha (GA)
Doha, May 26: As Akash Telgu and Queenie Fernandes, both from Goa, were crowned Rai and Rani Kogull, the full-house audience within the Andalauise Hall burst into celebration with thunderous applause reverberating all around. It was a neck-and-neck contest where tide swung like a pendulum till the end. Both Akash and Queenie lived up to the billing as the hot favourites. Yet the margin between winners and runners-up was too small and that proved how tough was the finale.
The grand finale of SOAD-3 International on Friday May 25 had all the ingredients of a reality show - talented contestants, strict judges who are often torn apart between being generous and yet meticulous, supportive audience, and live telecast that had lacs of people across the globe watching the finals. It was indeed a huge task for the young finalists to overcome all these things and be crowned winner.
Everyone knew that the finals were going to be tough and the victory would be marginal. But no one perhaps would have ever thought it would throw up a tie for the title of Rani Kogull. At the end of two rounds Voice of Goa Queenie Fernandes and Voice of Mangalore Carol Monteiro bagged a total of 162 marks each. So the winner had to be decided through a tie-breaker wherein both Queenie and Carol had to choose a song on the spot. While Queenie chose to sing Chris Perry’s everlasting number Lisbova, Carol Monteiro rendered Alwyn Bajpe’s ‘Fondar Tujea, a sentimental song that had audience in tears and even received a standing ovation from the judges.
The evening was awaited for long not only by the 6 contestants who made it to Doha finals but by lacs of music buffs from Goa, Mangalore, Doha and all across. The expectations are always high when Konkani’s premier organization Mandd Sobhann organizes the programme. Having presented some historic shows and programmes in Konkani in the last 25 years and played the lead role in taking Konkani into the Guinness Book of Records, Mandd Sobhann has an aura that no other Konkani organization anywhere in the world can match. Similar is the case with MCC Qatar, one of the pioneer expatriate forums in the State of Qatar. Both Mandd Sobhann and MCC have been in the forefront of nurturing and promoting Konkani and Konkani talents in their own way.
It was this mission of nurturing and promoting Konkani that brought both Mandd Sobhann and MCC together in launching the dream project of SOAD-3 International. It was never going to be easy to bring together Goa, Mangalore and Doha together under one platform specially for a musical reality show. But both Mandd Sobhann and MCC proved the naysayers wrong and have successfully brought the show to host country Doha for the finals.
As were the expectations, the finals commenced on time with the formal welcome by Rita Andrade and Santhosh Rodrigues. As they announced the guests of the evening, NRI entrepreneur and philanthropist Ronald Colaco, South Goa MP and former chief minister Francisco Sardinha, Editor-in-chief of daijiworld.com Walter Nandalike, Mandd Sobhann president Stany Alvares along with the judges of the finals premier Sandalwood music director Guru Kiran, Konkani’s Golden Voice, the numero uno singer Rony D’Cunha and noted Konkani activist from Goa Tomazhino Cardozo were escorted to the stage by MCC Qatar president Richard D’Souza. Little children dressed in white clothes and Damascus satri provided a traditional look to the escort.
Once the guests made into the jam-packed Andaluis Hall within Regency Halls, Konkani’s ace compere Arunraj Rodrigues who was the compere of the evening took over. The six finalists, a male and a female voice each from Goa, Mangalore and Qatar were then welcomed. The Goan finalists Akash Telgu and Queenie Fernandes were accorded the traditional Goan welcome while the finalists from Mangalore Robin Sequeira and Carol Monteiro walked into the Andaluis Halls amidst the traditional Mangalorean welcome. But it was the entry of finalists from Qatar Naveen Pinto and Sana Britto with the traditional Arabic music and dance that had the audience going berserk with applause.
Right at the beginning regional winners who made it to the Qatar finals were honoured and presented with mementoes. Finalists from Mangalore Robin and Carol were felicitated by Mandd Sobhann president Stany Alvares. Goan finalists Akash and Queenie were felicitated by Editor-in-chief of Daijiword Walter Nandalike and entrepreneur Ronald Pinto from Abu Dhabi. Naveen and Sana, the finalists from Qatar were felicitated by Mangalore Cricket Club president Richard D’Souza. Each of the finalists was also presented with the cash prize of Rs 15,000.
With this the stage was perfectly set for an exciting final wherein 6 finalists were vying for the coveted crown of Rai Kogull and Rani Kogull. The award for the ‘Best Duet’ was also in the offing and the contest began with the duets by the finalists. The first duet of the evening was Yodelling King Melwyn Peris’ masterpiece ‘Bhovntonni Kallok Mandtana’ sung beautifully by voices of Mangalore Robin Sequeira and Carol Monteiro. It was the first song of the finals and wonderful rendition by two melodious voices provided a perfect start to the evening and had the audience right away asking for more.
Uzwad Chondremacho, one of the best compositions of the late Wilfy Rebimbus was the second of the duets of the evening. Qatar finalists Naveen Pinto and Sana Britto, the crowd’s favourite duo, presented song much to the delight of all. Akash Telgu and Queenie Fernandes had been crowned the Kingfisher Voice of Goa-2011. While Akash Telgu topped the chartes in Konkani, Queenie had been crowned queen in the western genre. Both of them took to SOAD-3 International finals prevailing over some of the best Goan voices. Their first performance of the finals proved that they were indeed the serious contenders to be crowned Rai Kogull and Rani Kogull. Their rendition of Jinneachi Rani composed by ace Goan musician Ashok Patki was one of the highlights of the evening and it was appreciated equally by judges and the audiences.
With their stupendous duet performance, Queenie and Akash also bagged the best singing duo title, along with a cash award of Rs 20,000.
The duet session was like a warm-up round for the contestants whose actual test was the solo round that was to follow next. In the solo round both the contestants had to sing two songs, an Indian and a western each. The round began with the classical songs for the male contestants. Akash Telgu’s rendition of ‘Paizanna’, penned by Manorai Sardesai, not only set the precedent but was also the benchmark for the evening. The ambience of the venue, beautiful background music scored by experienced musicians and Akash’s trained voice received thunderous applause from the audience.
Voice of Mangalore Robin Sequeira’s first solo of the finals ‘Konni Na’ penned by Llyod Taccode and set to music by Konkani’s most sought-after musician Roshan D’Souza was again had the audience’s blessing. The song originally sung by Rony D’Cunha, one of the judges of the evening, came in praise from Rony himself. Naveen Pinto, the crowd’s favourite did live up to his top billing with his super rendition of Ambor Pikea, a classic composition of Eric Ozario. The song is penned by Yousuf Shaikh.
The male classical round was followed by female western round. Sana Britto’s melodious presentation of young Jackson D’Souza’s peppy number ‘Mog Mog’ though was subject to judges’ meticulous scrutiny, received well by the audience. Voice of Mangalore Carol Monteiro then came up with a stunning solo Çhand-re’ another hit jugalbandhi by Lloyd Taccode and Roshan DSouza. ‘Queenie Fernandes surely owns a mellifluous voice and this was clearly evident with her presentation of Goan hit number Bhoop Axello.
The presentation of western songs by male finalists was perhaps eagerly awaited and straightaway it was Robin Sequeira who rocked the crowd with Lloyd-Roshan’s recently released number Xetam Merer. Robin is known for his extraordinary stage presence and it he was in full flow while dishing out another commanding performance. The tight competition continued with Akash Telgu’s number Ekto from the yet-to-be-released telefilm ‘Limits’. The song composed by young Supraj has been set to tune by 18-year-old musician Tenzy and has originally been sung by Akash Telgu himself in the film. Though Akash failed to create the same atmosphere that he had earlier created in the classical round, it was still an incredible performance by young Goan, the winner of Kingfisher Voice of Goa-2011. Naveen Pinto as melodious as ever presented the super hit song Ýore Pavsa Yo’, another super hit composition of young duo Llyod Rego-Roshan D’Souza. It was a super duper performance and his sonorous voice came in for lot of praise from the judges.
The last part of the finals was the classical round for the female that began with Carol soulful rendition of Aanath. The song is a moving number and Carol’s rendition of this song brought forth another facet of her melodious voice. Queenie Fernandes had been crowned Kingfisher Voice of Goa-2011 in the western song category. But at the SOAD-3 finals she proved that she is quite adept at singing classical numbers too. The song she had chosen was Geet riginally sung by none other than Asha Bhonsle and she as the judges were to comment later, she indeed did justice to the composition.
The last solo performance of the finals was the classical number Fulon Yenvchea penned by Gladys-Melwyn and set to music by Loy. It was presented by Sana Britto and was appreciated by all.
Musicians of great repute Damodar Kumble on tabla, Roshan D’Souza on base guitar, Sachin was drums, Richard Monteiro on keyboard, Alwyn Pinto on lead guitar and Umesh Idya on saxophone were did a great job. Mandd Sobhann Gurkar Eric Ozario was the music director.
Before the Rai Kogull and Rani Kogull were announced, a short stage programme was held. Chief guest of the evening Ronald Colaco, guests of honour Indian ambassador to Qatar Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa,MP and Estimation Committee chairman Francisco Sardinha, Daijiworld Media Pvt Ltd managing director Walter Nandalike and Mandd Sobhann president Stany Alvares, Mandd Sobhann Gurkar Eric Ozario, MCC founder member and advisory committee member Jerry D’Mello, Ronald Pinto Abu Dhabi of Hyssna International were escorted to the dais by MCC president Richard D’Souza.
Speaking on the occasion Ronald Colaco praised the efforts of MCC Qatar and Mandd Sobhann in nurturing and promoting Konkani language and culture. He also announced a special cash prize of one lac rupees each on his behalf to each of the finalists. Walter Nandalike in his address made a special mention of finalists from Qatar Navee and Sana for making use of the limited opportunities and making it to the finals. He also had a word of praise for MCC and its efforts.
Indian Ambassador to Qatar Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa does share a close bond with Mangalore since she hails from Kannur in Kerala. Despite her busy schedule she made it point to attend the SOAD-3 International finals and during her address she acknowledged the role of MCC in the welfare of Mangalorean expatriates in Qatar. Senior politician, MP and chairman of the Estimation Committee Francisco Sardinha in his address hailed the contribution of Goans and Mangaloreans residing abroad in promoting Konkani language and traditions. ‘Though Konkani is different dialects and written in varied scripts, all of us should be proud that we are Konknnes. It is indeed heartening to see that a music which transcends all barriers of region and language has brought Goa and Mangalore together one umbrella called SOAD-3 International,” he added.
MCC also celebrated its 20th anniversary on the occasion. MCC president Richard D'Souza, founder member Jerry D'Mello, vice-president Sunil D'Silva, general secretary Riana Pinto, and Ronald Colaco together cut a cake to mark the milestone.
All the three judges, 6 finalists, all contestants from Qatar right from the preliminary round, musicians and live telecast team of Daijiworld and Namma TV that came from Mangalore, Daijiworld Qatar team members were presented with memontoes.
The icing on the cake was the performance by judges Tomazinho Cardozo, Guru Kiran and Rony DÇunha. It was time that prevented them for yielding to audience’s request and dishing out more songs.
Arunraj loves his reputation as one of Konkani's best comperes and he agian held on to his billing with great pride with his commanding compering at the finals. He was suave as ever, witty, well in control of the event, spontaneous with His superb compering was one of the highlights of the evening. Reena Castelino is one of the best comperes in Qatar and she did a fine job as the compere for the stage programme. With an elegant poise and grace Reena cast her charm on the audience.
The SOAD-3 International finale was historic as it was the first Konkani TV reality music contest. Mandd Sobhann and MCC which are known for dishing out hit shows and staging perfect events again proved that they are best ones in business.
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